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Maori Call for Informed Debate On Foreshore Issues

Press Release
Immediate Release

Maori Call for Informed Debate On Foreshore Issues.

Te Arawa lawyer Annette Sykes announced today the release of a Maori publication which aims to shed light on the ongoing debate about foreshores stating

"We have been fed misinformation in the mainstream media about the issues and its time we dealt to the lies and myths that have been promulgated".

The book, Te Takutai Moana, published by Tino Rangatiratanga and Te Hau Tikanga in conjunction with The International Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Education (IRI) contains a selection of readings by Maori and Pakeha, spelling out Maori views, legal aspects of the foreshore case, Maori declarations in tino rangatiratanga and breaks down misconceptions about the issues.

"We realise the importance of having timely information available to the people of this country. This book addresses that need for information," said Annette Sykes. "These articles will add to a badly needed rational and informed debate about foreshore issues in this country."

Te Takutai Moana contains a wealth of information collated by Te Hau Tikanga in the last two months and includes the recent Taranaki Declaration: Te Whakapuakinga, which declares Maori sovereignty over all lands, including the foreshore. Authors of articles include outspoken lawyers such as Annette Sykes (Tuhoe/Te Arawa); Moana Jackson (Ngati Kahungunu); and Jane Kelsey (Pakeha) alongside a range of political and community commentators.

"In telling our story to the people of this country, we are providing a service more valuable than the website provided by the National Party, which promotes racism and misunderstanding" continued Sykes. "Our advice to National is to provide sound information on the issues, and not rhetoric that is only focused on attempting to lift their standing in the polls. As politicians you owe that much to the people."

Te Hau Tikanga stated that they would consider providing the book in electronic form as a link to the National Party website, in the interests of an open and constructive debate.

"I witnessed the heart of this debate on a slogan in yesterday's march in Whakatu (Nelson) 'When do we stop giving.' "This sums up the Maori position well," said Sykes. "If the history of this country had been taught in school, the people would be well aware of how much Maori have given, at their expense, for the wellbeing of this country."

"In the foreshore case though, the issue is not about giving, but in the Crown taking something away from us. I think Pakeha would agree that it is wrong for anyone to have something taken away from them. With an informed and rational debate, we can expect their support in this case. This is a Maori contribution to that goal"

****

Copies of the report are available from IRI Te Hau Tikanga Leonie Pihama Annette Sykes


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